Nets Rally to Beat Mavs in OT on Kidd's Birthday


Nets Rally to Beat Mavs in OT on Kidd's Birthday

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DALLAS - What are the Brooklyn Nets going to do to celebrate Jason Kidd’s 42nd birthday after the party they threw Sunday night?

Trailing by 13 in the second half and seven to start the fourth quarter, the Nets rallied to post a 107-104 overtime win over the Mavericks in Dallas.

It was the best road win since a 95-93 triumph at Oklahoma City on Jan. 2.

The Nets have pointed to that victory against the Thunder as the one that turned the season around. They were 10-21 going into that game.

This win cemented the Nets as a legit playoff threat because they’ve proven they can win at home or on the road. They are now 37-31.

Amazing.

So was Kidd’s birthday celebration.

“We gave him a birthday beating,’’ one Nets player said of the celebration they gave Kidd.

Kidd tried to fight it off by tossing water at his players who would not be deterred. When asked about the celebration, Kidd said of the locker room, “It’s wet in there.’’

There was no evidence of overturned Gatorade coolers. Just a lot of smiles.

The Mavs are fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference just as the Nets are fighting for one in the East.

The Nets, playing again without Kevin Garnett (back spasms) got into early foul trouble, lost Andrei Kirilenko who tweaked his left ankle in the second quarter, and were trailing by two until Joe Johnson forced overtime with a driving basket with 9.9 seconds left.

Johnson hit a 3 to put the Nets ahead, 96-93 in OT. Shaun Livingston then made the defensive play of the night, a steal that he converted for a layup, putting the Nets ahead to stay, 100-95 with 2:16 left. Paul Pierce drained two free throws to clinch it.

Kidd was celebrating his 41st birthday in the city where he won his NBA title in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who had a chance to say something nice about Kidd, came up small when asked if his franchise would consider retiring Kidd’s number.

“I don’t know,’’ said Cuban. “We’ll see. I don’t pre-announce.’’

The Nets used a 20-3 fourth-quarter surge, fueled by the mercurial Marcus Thornton, to seize a 79-75 lead.

But the Mavs countered with a 10-2 run to take an 85-81 lead. The Nets responded with a 10-6 spurt, capped by Johnson’s basket off the glass that tied the score at 91-91.

NOTES: X-rays on Kirilenko’s left ankle were negative.

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